April 2017 Newsletter
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If you’re reading this on the website, you’re already reading the full newsletter. Keep going, you’re doing great!
I mean, I love my new tool box in an ‘unnatural’ way. Like, I dream about it at night sometimes. When I leave the shop I tell it, “I’ll be back tomorrow”.
Yea, a little obsessed and why not? It’s an amazing tool storage unit and I got it at a killer price.
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Some of you warned that the deal was too good to be true, and that if the previous owner owed money on it, Snap-on would come after me for the balance. So far, so good.
Also, the former owner owns one of the most successful machine shops in the city. Not to mention in addition to the tool box, he also had a ’69 Camaro and a supercharged Vette in the garage. Not to mention the nice neighborhood.
I think I’m good.
I’ll be making a tool box tour video, likely for ETCG1 at some point. If you’re dying to see what’s in it now, I made a Premium Member video that shows how it set it up just after I got it. Things have changed a bit since then and will probably continue to do so the more I work out of it.
I love my new tool box.
What has a bunch of cool cars and bikes on a resort island off the coast of Georgia? Answer: Caffeine and Octane on Jekyll Island!
Jekyll island is amazing in and of itself. It’s not very developed which I like, a lot. So the setting alone was worth the trip. I got up early one morning just to walk the beach and got some great pictures.
The beauty didn’t end there. The car/bike show was spectacular. I met several owners and builders while walking the show. All of them LOVED their cars and it showed. It’s always great to hang out with like minded people who love machines. Feels like coming home. I’m ﬁnding that the ‘car/bike community’ is a really good one.
You might be familiar with the TV show Caffeine and Octane, but this was the ﬁrst event of it’s kind, and I get the feeling it won’t be the last. In fact, trafﬁc was backed up over the bridge trying to get to the show on Saturday.
I met some new friends while I was there. Not the least of which was Mike Finnegan from Roadkill. He brought his ’55 Chevy, “Blasphemi”, and his race boat to the show. He is an awesome guy, and yes, I did ask about a collab between ETCG and Roadkill. We’ll see what happens.
I also got to ﬁnally meet Steve Goers from Metal rescue. Steve and I have been looking to work together since 2013. I think we’re ﬁnally going to get something off the ground with a couple of videos about his products from Workshop Hero. It’s not a hard sell for me because the product really does work as you’ll see in a future video.
I also met Alex Josefson from Spectro oils. BTW they make a great oil for Harley transmissions. Apparently it keeps them nice and quiet and shifting smooth unlike the OE stuff. Since I don’t ride a Harley, I can’t speak from personal experience, but I did talk with some bike builders at the show that seem to agree that it’s good stuff.
I can’t forget the fans I met at the show! Off the top of my head I remember meeting Jon Shelton and also Ethan Masten. It was great meeting both of you. I know at least one of you reads these newsletters. Thanks! As for the rest of you, very sorry I don’t remember your names, but it was a pleasure to meet you as well.
Oh yea, it was also St. Patricks day. THAT was a fun night. There was an Irish pub right across the street from the hotel. So much I can’t talk about. Let’s just say that I got to hang out, and meet with a lot of great and talented people in the car/bike building world. Not to mention Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto. Kind of epic. I friggn love my job.
After getting the new tool box set up, I went straight to work. In fact, I’ve done more work on the Fairmont in the past month than I have in the past 4, and all without a cameraman. Both Brian and Derek are busy right now. Honestly, I’ve enjoyed going back to the ‘old school’ way of making videos. Well, that is until I start going over the footage and ﬁnd the problems I didn’t see while I was shooting. I’ll worry about that later.
When I left you last time I had completed the installation of the K member and front suspension. Since then I have completed the mounting of the front accessories and changed out the power steering pump for a Saginaw unit on the engine. I also now have air conditioning again! A killer kit from CVF racing helped immensely with that.
I also wrapped the headers and front pipe. Now the exhaust system in the engine compartment is completely covered! Honestly, I found I really enjoyed wrapping the headers, it was very cathartic.
After that I reinstalled the engine and transmission, not quite for the last time, but almost. I needed it in the car so I could sort out some of the remaining things like the power steering and AC lines. The engine needs to be in the car to do this. Otherwise I’d have no idea if they ﬁt or not.
While the engine was in the car I also took the opportunity to reroute the cold side of the turbo. I know this makes many of you happy. It makes me happy too. As I’ve said several times in the comments, I bought this turbo as part of a kit for a fuel injected Mustang. Hence the reason it was routed the way it was because the inlet for a fuel injected engine is on the passenger side.
Because I’m running a carburetor, I can rout the inlet anywhere I want. After some cutting and ﬁtting, I now have a redesigned cold side feed for the engine. However, I had to rework the inside of my carburetor hat to accommodate the new arrangement. In the process, the die grinder jumped out and made it’s mark on the outside of my shiny new part. Sad, but it will still function. Still, every time I look at the engine that’s all I see. Perhaps it’ll buff out…
I also got clever when I routed my power steering cooler. I’ve placed it up inside the fender because that was one of the last places that had room for it. I’m also proud of my trick mounting bracket. It’s a modiﬁed bracket, the same as the type that hold my air system pipes to the shop wall, and some 3/8 fuel line for protection against chaﬁng. I love fabricating stuff. Loooove it.
Once I got all the front suspension in place with the 1/4” wheel spacers, to give clearance for the new coil overs, the front tires were making contact with the fenders. I removed the fenders and ‘reworked’ them a bit for clearance, but that still wasn’t enough. I ended up modifying the lower fender supports to be adjustable. That way I can move the fenders out just enough to get the tire clearance I needed. It worked!
I picked up my custom fuel cell from the fabricator. I made a mock up out of cardboard and brought it to him to remake in aluminum. He did a great job. The keen eye will notice the port above the ﬁller neck. If I ever wanted to go to fuel injection, all I would need to do is change the fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump, and run a return line back to that port. It also has internal bafﬂes and a custom mounting strap.
Speaking of the fuel system. I’ve decided to do a combination of steel braided and solid line for fuel delivery. I’ll run the ﬂexible line from the tank to the fuel pump. From the fuel ﬁlter I’ll run 3/8” hard line up into the engine compartment. My research shows that running hard line is better than running steel braided along the frame rail.
I’ve also removed the front fenders, the doors, and the interior of the car. It’s a lot easier to work on the interior without the doors. Soooo much easier. While the doors are off, I’m going to recondition the hinges. They tend to wear out and cause the doors to sag, especially on old 2 doors like mine. This should help a great deal with the doors closing on the lift as well as the water seal on the passenger side. It tends to leak in the rain. The kits are pretty cheap, less than $10. It’s a heck of a job if you plan to do it on the car though.
With the seats out, I removed the dash and HVAC. I have successfully retroﬁtted an HVAC out of an ’82 Mustang into it’s place. This was a big hurdle to overcome. It now means that I’ll be able to run R134a refrigerant instead of the R12 it used to run. I had to do some modiﬁcation to the ﬁrewall to make it happen. This was another instance where I needed the engine in place to check the clearance of the accumulator. I still need to work that a bit, but it all ﬁts and hooks up!
Next, I need to work out the duct work and controls. I’ve already picked up an HVAC control switch from eBay. Now I need to sort out the ducts and wiring. A lot easier to type than do, but I’ll sort it out. I got this far.
I’ve also removed all the old insulation from the interior of the car. It’s down to bare sheet metal. While doing that, I discovered that the brake line for the rear brakes ran under the back seat to the passenger side. I realized that this would be a great opportunity to move my adjustable proportioning valve inside the car next to the drivers seat. I did just that and I’ll now be able to adjust how much force goes to the rear brakes on the ﬂy right from the drivers seat. Yea, so cool.
Last night after I got all that ﬁtted, I removed the engine and transmission hopefully for the last time. Next week I plan to ﬁll in the holes in the ﬁrewall and also do some other minor repairs to the ﬂoor and body. I ﬁgure this is a great opportunity to practice welding body panels. No real stress since it’s just the ﬁrewall, but good practice just the same.
Once that work is complete, I’ll be installing some Xmat from Eastwood. This will help keep the heat and sound out. From there I’ll start rebuilding the interior. After that, the roll bar.
Still quite a bit of work to do, but progress has most certainly been made. I plan to continue to work like this until I’m doing burn outs in front of the shop. Then I’ll purchase more tires.
Nothing to report here at all. After reading the above paragraph you might understand why. That said, as soon as I ﬁnish the Fairmont I plan to throw myself headlong into Fixing it Forward to get things going. There’s simply too much on my plate at the moment. Perhaps I should dial back my ambition a bit.
If you’d like to learn more, or donate to the Fixing it Forward GoFundMe, click here.
Premium Members got 3 exclusive videos last month, one of which I already mentioned, “**NEW** Tool Box Tour March 7, 2017 (Exclusive Video)”. They also got 2 others, “#DarkMatterPikachu Gets a Facelift (Exclusive Video)” and “TKO600 Install #FairmontProject (Full Version) (Exclusive Video)”.
I’ve already shot a new #FairmontProject update that will go out in early April. I’ll be putting together other exclusive content as well in the coming month. There’s plenty of material to go around these days it seems.
Premium Members get up to 4 exclusive videos per month. They also get additional perks on the website, and they help support the site with all of it’s useful, free, repair content.
I know I say it a lot, including in this newsletter, but, I love my job. Just reading back through past newsletters and looking back at some of the things I’ve done since I started EricTheCarGuy amazes me. Considering about 9 years ago I was $36 away from the poverty line. I know this because I was denied food stamps because of it. It’s one thing to be poor, it’s quite another to be told that you made $36 too much to qualify for assistance.
It was in that moment I decided to go for it and start EricTheCarGuy. I ﬁgured I didn’t have anything to lose. I kept telling myself, “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”.
From where I sit now, it’s so hard to believe how far things have come. With that, I want to leave you with 2 things. The ﬁrst, is that I appreciate each and every one of you for helping me dig my way out of that hole. The second, is that I’m no better than any of you. If you ﬁnd yourself in a similar situation, don’t give up. See it as an opportunity to take a chance on something. After all, what have you got to lose?
Thanks for reading. Latest videos below. Be safe
Stay Dirty ETCG
1996-2004 Acura/Honda RL Outer Door Handle Replacement:
TKO600 Install (Part 2) #FairmontProject:
ETCG Answers Questions Live #83 (AMA) 3/1/2017:
Caffeine and Octane on the Beach 2017:
Video Title: April 2017 Newsletter -EricTheCarGuy Video Description: Welcome to the April 2017 Newsletter. Here you will find information on what is happening with EricTheCarGuy and his videos. Projects iunclude the #fairmontproject, Cars and coffee at the beach, and love fora toolbox. Premium Membership infor is included. Thumbnail: http://www.ericthecarguy.com/images/newsletter/April/2017/April-2017-Newsletter-placeholder-Large-850.jpg